I think I’ve been converted. I might actually like salad. And I’m not talking about a dish that has ‘salad’ in the title but is clearly not really very salad-like, like this lentil and halloumi salad or this chickpea and tomato salad. This one has lettuce and everything!
Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad containing a variety of vegetables and bread. I can’t claim that this is 100% authentic, since I’ve never been to the Middle East, nor am I Middle Eastern myself, but I gave it a go, and it turned out wonderful.
Usually the effort of having to chew through an entire plateful of lettuce (am I the only one who finds that lettuce needs a lot of chewing?) means I get bored before I actually get full, so I stop after half a plateful and am left hungry and unsatisfied – but I happily munched my way through this entire plateful. There were enough ‘nice bits’ along with the lettuce to keep me interested, but it’s still a very healthy salad – sometimes, without realising it, I add so many ‘nice bits’ that I’m basically just eating a bowlful of cheese and croutons with a lettuce leaf floating around somewhere in the middle, and the point of a healthy salad kind of gets lost. But this was the perfect happy medium.
Plus, the dressing! Ohhh, the dressing. Olive oil, lemon, garlic… oh so simple, but it was amazing. And the pitta bread is just perfect for mopping the plate when you’ve finished – and, I assure you, you will finish this.
(that wasn’t meant to sound like a threat)
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Large handful lettuce, roughly shredded
2 inches cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then cut into 1/2cm slices
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
10 black olives, halved
50g feta cheese, roughly chopped
3tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 pitta bread
To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and a little black pepper, and mix well.
Add the salad ingredients (all remaining ingredients except the pitta bread) to a large bowl and toss.
Toast the pitta bread (get it fairly crispy), and tear it into chunks.
Add the dressing to the salad, toss to coat, and serve topped with the pitta chunks.